Tips For Exercising During Summer
Working out and exercising on a hot summer day can feel daunting and overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, you can become dehydrated, and suffer from heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
Below we have listed some foolproof tips for exercising during Summer that will make working out in the heat a breeze, so you can safely, and comfortably, get your sweat on!
Hydration Hydration Hydration!
You’ve heard this a thousand times before – but hydration is a step you cannot skip, especially on a hot day. If you are planning on doing a longer workout you should also consider sipping on a sports drink as they contain potassium and electrolytes that can rehydrate and replenish your body.
The main thing is not to wait until you feel thirsty – if you wait, chances are that you may already be dehydrated!
Don’t Eat Too Much
Avoid at all costs eating a big meal before a workout, but especially before working out in the heat! This is because digesting food requires energy, which in turn creates more body heat. This can then pull blood flow away from the muscles you are working out during your exercise.
If your body is working to digest food while moving around vigorously at the same time, you can suffer from digestive discomfort which is less than ideal when you are trying to exercise.
Wear Light-Coloured & Lightweight Clothing
Darker colours absorb heat and can make you sweat a lot more while also increasing your internal temperature. Ditch the tight-fitting clothing and keep it loose and light. Allowing more air to flow through your clothing will circulate over your skin and keep you cooler.
Give Your Body A Chance To Get Used To The Heat
It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is – every single person will need time to acclimate to the heat. Not giving yourself this time can increase your risk of heat-related illnesses. Acclimating to the hotter temperature can allow you to work out at a higher level, for a longer time, while keeping a lower body temperature.
In order to do this, when you know you are traveling to a hotter country, or, if you know some warmer weather is coming, start with shorter workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity over a period of two weeks. You should also hold off on any intense or long workouts until you have gotten used to the heat.
Take A Cold Shower
Before you even start your workout, you can bring your body temperature down by taking a cold shower. For extra cooling, ditch the hair dryer and try completing your workout with wet hair to stay extra cool.
Avoiding The Hottest Part Of The Day
Try getting your workout done early in the morning before the sun gets too high in the sky or in the evenings when it has cooled off by a few degrees. You should also try working out in the shade and not in direct sunlight.
This is more of a preventative measure you can take to avoid a bad sunburn that would hinder your future workouts. Stop a sunburn in its tracks by slathering yourself in sun cream with SPF 50 or higher – you should also consider using a water-proof sun cream so it doesn’t come off when you start to sweat.
Always remember, that by working out for just 20 minutes can have very positive health benefits, and it is the number of days that you workout and not the length of time of the workout.
Instead of spending long periods of time working out in the heat, try working out more intensely for a shorter period of time. HIIT or high-intensity interval training will get your heart pumping in no time at all. Some great HIIT workouts are jumping jacks, burpees, sprints, or mountain climbers.
It is important not to get discouraged about only completing a short workout, as shorter, intense workouts can actually help you to build your endurance level. It is also important not to push yourself too hard as you might end up feeling faint or dizzy.
Take It Easy
Not to contradict our previous tip – but make sure you don’t push yourself too hard in the heat and know when to ease up. This is very important especially when you are on a holiday in a humid climate, or just on a particularly hot day, as you might not be accustomed to the heat, meaning you will not be able to exercise as intensely as you usually do – and that is absolutely fine!
If you are a runner, jogger, or walker, try slowing your pace as you allow your body to adapt to the heat. You can then gradually increase your pace when you feel it is safe to do so.
Listen To Your Body
Do not let yourself get to the point where you are feeling dizzy, sick, or faint as this could be an indication you are about to pass out from heat exhaustion. Be sure to listen to your body, and if you are feeling any of the below, you should stop working out immediately and try to get somewhere to cool off:
- Light headed
- Draining of colour in the face
- Muscle cramping
- Increased heartbeat